Saturday, November 15, 2008

YouTube Gems

This guy is too cute!

Saving Seeds:

UCLA Lecture from Jules Dervaes
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

If you really want to be freaked out, watch this (I know it seems long, but it's really worth watching when you get the time): The Future of Food
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9

Friday, November 14, 2008

An Amazing Site

One awesome plant information database:

TROPICOS was originally created for internal research but has since been made available to the world’s scientific community. All of the nomenclatural, bibliographic, and specimen data accumulated in MBG’s electronic databases during the past 25 years are publicly available here. This system has over one million scientific names, 3.4 million specimen records, 111,000 bibliographic citations, and more than 70,000 images of living plants and specimens.

A Little Change

Firefly, at Sweet Pea Chronicle, has transferred her blog over to wordpress, so has a new link.
Her always insightful posts are definitely worth a read!

Latin Shmatin . . . Take 2

Over at Garden Rant, Allan Armitage has another post up called So You Want To Dumb Us Down Even More? about whether regular gardeners should be learning and using the botanical names of plants.

I posted on this subject waaay back on December 1, 2006: Latin Shmatin

How do I feel about the same subject two years later?
Well, have you ever seen that TV ad about Time Warner/Verizon where the guys says, "My life is already complicated enough"?


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Link Love

Thought I'd share a couple links I've discovered recently that I really like:

The Survival Podcast
(Jack Spirko does almost daily podcasts (while driving to work) - not a fanatical survivalist. He's a normal guy that's just like most of us. They also host a forum. Just click one of these at the top of each blog post to listen to the podcasts: Play Now Play in Popup Download)
The Survival Podcast is a daily blog/podcast that discusses the current state of the global and U.S. economy and what individuals can do cope with and prepare for uncertain times. We cover everything from peak oil threats, to gardening and homesteading to political discussions and even some wilderness survival skills.

Homesteading Today Forum
A little of everything and anything to do with how to grow it, raise it, build it, etc.
Give it a browse - I bet you'll find something you'll like.

Bird Wave

We just saw the most freaking amazing thing - a gigundo bird wave!
There must have been a million birds, all turning and swooping like ocean waves over the open fields and trees. I haven't seen one in a very long time, and wow, I'd forgotten how impressive it is to watch every single bird in a huge cloud all turn and dive or climb at exactly the same time, as if triggered by an invisible signal. No leader, no follower - just perfect synchronicity.
Amazing! And very, very cool.
We kept staring and exclaiming our glee, like children at Christmas.
Oh, to have a video camera! Or, at least a digi cam. Urg!
We had that vertigo feeling a few times while staring upwards - as if the whole thing were some computer generated vision and not really real.
What an awe-inspiring, jaw dropping, exhilarating sight.

Princeton Nurseries Closing

Princeton Nurseries, located in Allentown, NJ, started in the summer of 1913, has 2600 acres, made it through the Great Depression, but can't struggle through the economic mess we're in now.
Big bummer.
I've never purchased anything from them, but it is still sad to see such a historic nursery sink into oblivion.

TO: Princeton Nurseries Customers
Effective December 16, 2008 Princeton Nurseries will permanently close as a result of declining economic conditions.

Here is the history of the nursery: The History of Princeton Nurseries

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Roadside Shopping

People are chucking their spent mums . . . again.
I picked up three big mums and a pumpkin large enough for about four loaves of pumpkin bread. I love it when people have money to throw away.
Clearance sales are still on at Lowe's - huge Boston fern and two 'Double Take' Spaths (left outside to get frosted - ugh!) for a buck.
Go me!

The weather looks like I'll be able to get the mums in the ground on Friday.
I got the Iris cut back for winter and did a lot of weed pulling. Most of the flowerbeds are cleaned up. I'm still doing that nit-picky thing I do, though. I can't help it!

Planted the garlic a month ago and they're growing very well. Transplanted the rhubarb into the garden at the same time - I don't know how they'll end up taking it. We'll see.

Collected some more seed - aster and Zebrina Malva. I'm hoping those don't become a thug.
The large pond pump and flow-through pumps have been turned off and the smaller winter pumps turned on. The koi are sulking, but it can't be helped. They'll be fine, as always.

Now comes the real limbo. Too much love for the houseplants while I twiddle my thumbs waiting to start the wintersowing. It won't be as much as previous years as I can't afford the potting soil. Oh, well. I'll just have to pick and choose a little more wisely about what I want most in the flowerbeds next year and use the peat I already have - whether appropriate or not. On a side note: I was a little miffed when someone mentioned that they bought eight bags of potting soil for 8 something a bag and thought that it was no big deal and pretty much petty change. Huh? When your figuring out which bill to pay and which to leave . . . ummmm, 60 something dollars is a lot of money! What the hell is wrong with people saying it's no big deal to just go blow 60 bucks on soil? I could almost see her shrugging her shoulders with the 'what's the big deal' attitude. Grrrr.

I need to sort through my seeds again and get them in order. Maybe I'll wait on that until after Christmas when I'll be ridiculously sick of having nothing gardenish to play in.

Still so far, so good on the rosemary.

I still need to tent my lavender with some burlap.

I found out that my Polka Dots are more of a pain in the ass than I thought they would be.

I can't get the stem rot stopped on those stupid begonias, so have about a thousand cuttings piled everywhere now. If I end up with not one begonia come spring, I'm gonna be hot!

The Majesty Palm is still puttering along and throwing up new spears.

Oh, and the weirdness for the month - a Foxglove and Lupine are flowering! What the frig is up with that? The snaps that are still in full bloom aren't a surprise, but the Lupine certainly is. Also had a Delph just get a very late bloom frozen off. Hmmm . . .

Plans are in the works to widen the garden next spring and plant potatoes again. Yay! We haven't had the room for them in years.

I may do some more roadside shopping this weekend. Hehehe.